Tag Archives: working dogs

New Setup For The Chickens!

This whole Ozzy situation has officially gotten out of hand. So Luke and I finally did something about it yesterday.

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Ozzy is my neighbor’s dog. He’s been getting into my yard a lot for the past several weeks and terrorizing my chickens. But now he’s getting even worse about it. So something had to be done.

So, on Thursday night when Luke got home from work we began building a structure to protect them. We didn’t get very far with it that night though. It was pouring down rain and we were under a sever thunderstorm warning and it’s kinda hard to work outside in those conditions. Plus we ran out of daylight pretty quickly, so we had to stop and then continue the next morning.

 

 

 

It was a rough morning. Things weren’t going the way Luke had planned and after our little building project had fallen apart twice we decided to stop, go get some food, regroup, and figure out a better way to go about this thing we were trying to accomplish. Oh and did I mention that it was hot, humid, and super gross out that morning following the thunderstorm from the night before? Yeah, it stayed like that all day and it was pretty awful.

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Anyway, while we were eating we did some brain storming and came up with the idea to get a dog kennel. If we could get one that was big enough the chicken coop would fit in it, when Ozzy wasn’t around the chickens would have more area to roam around in, and when he was we’d be able to lock them up in the coop and they’d be more protected from him. And plus we figured a dog kennel would be easier to assemble than what we were trying to build, so after we ate we ended up at Tractor Supply.

At Tractor Supply we learned that the super fancy dog kennels don’t all come in one DIY kit. You have to buy pretty much each panel individually, which would get crazy expensive crazy fast, because each piece was close to $100 and that wasn’t even including the dog house, ramp, and roof that you could add to this kennel. But after some searching we found exactly what we wanted. A DIY dog kennel kit that came with the WHOLE kennel and not just sections of it, for $200. Not bad! The only thing that wasn’t included in the kit was a top cover though. That came all by itself for an additional $50. I though that was stupid, so I asked Luke if we could just get a tarp to cover the top. He thought that was a really good idea and wanted to know why it took me that long to come up with it haha. So after we loaded up our dog kennel into the truck we went to Home Depot and got a $15 dollar tarp and a few $1.50 bungee cords. That seemed a lot more reasonable than a $50 cover for the kennel. πŸ™‚

So we went home, unloaded the truck, and Luke said he still wasn’t sure how we were going to fit the coop into this kennel once it was built. That’s when I asked him if it wouldn’t just be easier to build the kennel around the coop, because that’s what I thought we were going to do anyway. Haha that was my second fantastic idea for the day, and I’m surprised that my engineer husband didn’t come up with that one all on his own! πŸ˜‰ So we moved the chicken coop to the area we wanted to build the kennel in, and then began to assemble it.

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There is actually grass and weeds in the new spot that we moved to coop to, and the chickens were definitely enjoying it!!

So we did end up running into a few bumps along the road that was putting this kennel together, but all in all it went pretty well. It was definitely a lot easier than what we were trying to do before!!

 

 

We got the frame assembled very quickly, had a little bit of an issue with the gate, but Luke figured that out, and then put up the chain-link! Some dude at Tractor Supply (we are pretty sure that he didn’t even work their haha) told us that putting up the chain-link was going to be a bitch and we shouldn’t even bother buying the kit, but it was actually pretty easy! A bit time consuming, but still, it really wasn’t that hard. And once it was all put together we let the chickens out to explore a little bit (under close supervision from Lily and Finn πŸ˜‰ ) and took a short break before we put the tarp over top of it.

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The tarp ended up being really easy to put up as well, plus it kinda helped it re-enforce the whole thing. Luke also put a steak in the middle of it so that the rain, snow, or whatever should fall right off of it instead of pooling up on it. So now the chickens can’t fly out, nothing else could fly in, and they’ve got plenty of shade and should be a little more protected from the elements in general.

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Lily, who was raised on a farm, has some legit herding training, and grew up around chickens and therefore knows how to handle herself around them, is a big fan of this new setup haha. Now she can get in the kennel with them and keep an eye on them and kinda sorta herd them a bit. πŸ˜‰ Finn thinks it’s pretty neat too! And although he’s got some pretty impressive instincts, he’s never had any kind of herding training, and is young and excitable, so he’s not allowed in there with them. At least not yet. But he seems to think that it’s pretty neat that they can move around more, so he can kinda follow them around a little bit more.

 

 

All in all we’re very happy with how the dog kennel set up ended up working, and like I said, now the chickens have some more room to roam when Ozzy isn’t around to bother them, they’ll be a little bit more protected from the elements, and when Ozzy does get into my yard they can just be put into their coop and then he won’t be able to be as close to them or jump up on or scratch at the coop anymore. So that’s pretty freaking sweet!! I mean, it does kinda suck that we had to go through all of this trouble because of someone else dog, but still, the chickens end up benefiting a lot from it, so at least there’s that.

Alright then, now I have to get up on my soapbox and talk about whyΒ herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breeds of dogs don’t make good pets unless you’re prepared to deal with them and know 100% what you’re getting into with certain breeds of dogs. Because that’s the problem with Ozzy. He’s a heeler or a heeler mix. So he’s a herding dog. He’s pretty smart, full of energy, and he’s also bored and lonely because he’s left out in my neighbor’s backyard all day while he’s at work. That is basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to these kinds of dogs. You CANNOT get a high-energy/intelligent breed of dog and expect them to just be content running around a yard by themselves all day. They’ll end up getting bored and then doing things like barking excessively, digging, tearing stuff up, or escaping into your neighbors yard and terrorizing her chickens and rabbits, and playing with her 2 high-energy dogs who are out there a lot (haha Lily has separation anxiety, so she’ll only hang out in the backyard if Luke or myself go out there with her).

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My dogs know how to behave around the chickens and don’t want to kill/chase them. Lily and Finn just want to herd them/guard them, and Dean wants nothing to do with them. Ozzy wants to make them move, chase them, and then probably rip them to pieces. This photo was taken right before Finn started fighting Ozzy, because Ozzy was bothering his chickens. Finn thinks his job it to keep the chickens safe and that’s exactly what he was trying to do.

After seeing the way my dogs behave and how smart they are, a lot of people who see them actually end up telling me that they want a border collie (or something similar) as well. And honestly I tend to try to discourage them because these types of dogs need a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Like, A LOT. They are happiest when they are working. And when they aren’t they become problems which is why a lot of them end up in shelters labeled as “hyper” or “aggressive” or with “behavioral issues”. So that’s why I think that unless you have the time, patience, knowledge, and energy to care for a dog that’s a herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breed, most people would be better off with a different breed of dog. And remember that this is coming from someone with 3 border collies and thinks that they are the best dogs in the world haha. But they are not for everyone. Luke and I spend a lot of time making sure that they get the attention that they need and that they all have “jobs”. We also take them to an off leash dog park almost every weekend.

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They don’t just get to run around all willy nilly at the dog park. They’re constantly being told to come, sit, stay, and do other tricks and commands, to keep them mentally stimulated and to make them feel like they’re working.

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But they also get to play around a little bit while we’re there. πŸ™‚

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And whenever possible we like to take them to new places and put them into different situations. So they’re prepared for pretty much anything and always know how to act, no matter where we are or whats going on.

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When we’re at home fetch is a way of life and is taken very seriously.

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Individual walks happen pretty much everyday, regardless of the weather. The longer the better, although shorter ones will suffice if pressed for time.

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It’s not exactly easy, but Luke and I have gotten pretty good and wearing them out!! πŸ™‚

Ok, I’m done now. But obviously this is something that’s near and dear to my heart and it drives me crazy seeing a good dog turn into a problem. In almost every situation it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the handler. Because trust me, my dogs are fantastic! And I’ve met a lot of amazing dogs, but they don’t come that way. You have to MAKE them that way. And that’s a lot easier to do when you get a dog that you know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can handle and provide everything that it could possible need. That way you’re life will be a lot easier and you’ll end up with an amazing dog.

 

Whew! I didn’t mean to go onto a tangent like that, but I think the more that things like that get said, the better!

Anyways, after our building adventures were done we were finally able to spend the rest of the evening in the glorious air conditioner!! And that night someone live-streamed most of The Longshot’s concert that happened last night on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Instagram account, so obviously my little fangirl heart was as happy as could be! It looked like one hell of a show and I’m super duper jealous of anyone who gets to see The Longshot live, because they aren’t coming anywhere near where I live haha. But it is nice to at least get to see it on my phone. πŸ™‚

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Haha between getting another root canal and this big project, I haven’t gotten a lot of running done this week. But it’s all good! I felt like I could use a little bit of a break from all of the gross summer running anyway. πŸ˜‰ Plus all of the work we did putting together that dog kennel for the chickens hardcore wore me out!! When I woke up this morning I decided that I wasn’t going to do shit today, and so far so good!! πŸ˜‰ I’m very much on board with having the laziest Saturday ever!!

I hope you have a fantastic day and a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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*squee!!!!!* Finn was so little!!!!! Haha he wasn’t a very cute puppy though. πŸ˜‰Β 

 

 

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StrideBox, Earlier Mornings, and My Neighbor’s Dog, Ozzy.

Another month means another StrideBox! Yay!!

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Getting a box full of running goodies once a month never gets old! I was particularly excited about the Honey Stinger Cracker N’ Nut bar that came in May’s box! Those things have quickly become one of my all time favorite snacks. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it would appear that spring didn’t stick around very long. It’s been feeling more and more like summer here in Kansas. So far the highs are all in the 80’s this week, and on Wednesday (I think), it’s supposed to be around 89 degrees. And it’s just gonna keep getting hotter from here. Yuck… But on the bright side, summer is thunderstorm season and I do love thunderstorms! Watching storm fronts move in is basically one of my favorite hobbies. πŸ˜‰

Haha but anyway, I’ve got a 5k on Saturday and it’s looking like the weather isn’t gonna be too great for that. According to my weather app the high is gonna be 90 degrees. Cloudy, which will help a bit, but still, 90 degrees…Well, this race is at 8 am though, so it should actually be cooler than that, but still. Plus there are a few thunderstorms in the forecast before Saturday, which means it’s gonna be crazy humid…Β  I’m beginning to think the time goal I had in mind might not happen on Saturday. I know it’s only a 5k and if it were any other weather condition (cold, rainy, icy, snowy, even windy) I could and gladly would suffer through it. But for whatever reason I’ve never been able to do that when it comes to heat and humidity. It slows me waaay down, completely drains me, and leaves me feeling pretty shitty and tired for the rest of the day. Haha I mean, I always kinda feel tired and bleh when it’s hot out, but it just gets worse if I ran that day.

Anyway, I haven’t completely given up on my goal. I just might get super lucky! But I’m also prepared to accept the fact that the weather is what it is and I just not might be able to fight through it. And at the very least there will be cows, goats, and a huge buffet at the end. Even if I am only running the 5k, I’m gonna hit that buffet HARD hahahaha. πŸ˜‰

Ok, back to the point that I actually wanted to make. Since the weather has been getting warmer I’ve been having to wake up earlier. Right now I’m only having to get up at 6 am, which is only about an hour earlier than I usually do. So that’s not too horrible. But I’m able to get up, eat, drink my coffee and some water, brush my teeth, get dressed, and then get out the door just a little bit before 7 am. And that’s been working quite well, since the sun isn’t all the way up by then so it feels a little cooler. Plus the asphalt is still relatively cool since the sun hasn’t been shining on it for long at that time of day.

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View from my back porch at 6 am this morning.

So my run today was pretty pleasant, for the most part. It felt kinda cool even though it was in the high 60’s, there was a very nice breeze, and the sun was still mostly below the trees by the time I finished so I never got miserably hot. I felt pretty good during all 5 miles. The only real problem was my neighbor’s dog, Ozzy.

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You see, Ozzy is a relatively young dog, probably around Finn’s age, and my neighbor has had him for maybe 5 or 6 months (his old dog, Zadie, had to be euthanized. She was a really good dog and everyone was pretty upset about that.) Ozzy is also a red heeler (or maybe only part heeler, I don’t remember exactly), so he’s a herding dog. And obviously we have all sorts of small creatures in our backyard that look fun to chase. And for the past few weeks our chickens have really gotten his attention.

Anther thing that’s important to note is that the fence that we share with this neighbor is old and very broken haha. So he and Luke have been working on replacing it, but that’s been kind of a slow process because they both work a lot and our neighbor also goes camping a lot with his brother. That’s not been an issue until later last week though, when Ozzy figured out how to squeeze under the fence and started terrorizing my chickens.

So last Friday while I was feeding my little flock I saw a flash of white in what is usually a mostly black blur that happens in my backyard when all 3 of my dogs are running around, and of course it was Ozzy. Initially I wasn’t too worried about it. You can tell that he really wants to play with my dogs when he’s in his yard and they all like to run the fence line together. But after a few minutes of running around my yard he started to bother the chickens. Running around their coop, jumping on it, barking at them, and just kinda freaking them out in general. That pissed Finn off. Those are Finn’s chickens. He spends a lot of time trying to herd them through the coop (and sometimes he can even successfully make them move into a little group haha), but for the most part he just likes to sit near the coop and guard them. He does the same thing to the rabbit hutch. Those are his small animals and he has taken it upon himself to protect them. He’s also super protective of me (he will literally throw himself across my body and shield me from anything he thinks is a threat), the backyard, and pretty much anything he knows belongs to Luke and I. He’s a good dog, but he’s also still pretty young and dumb. He’s basically a teenager. πŸ˜‰

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So anyway, he ended up getting into a fight with Ozzy because he didn’t like Ozzy upsetting his chickens. Luckily they both stopped when I yelled at them and neither of them were hurt. So I put my dogs in my house, locked the chickens in their nesting area, and caught Ozzy and put him back in his yard. Then I covered all of the spots in the fence that he could squeeze under with rocks and bricks, hoping that would keep him out. And it did for the rest of Friday, but now he’s learned how to dig at them and move them just enough so that he can squeeze back under and he’s been in our yard at least once (but usually more than that) ever since. And like I said, I wouldn’t really mind him being in our yard, if he didn’t cause problems

So back to what happened today. I got up at 6, let Finn and Dean out (Luke was still asleep at this point and Lily will refuse to leave the bedroom if he’s still in bed. Haha she’s also super protective like Finn is. She’s just smarter and more mature about it. πŸ˜‰ ), then let the chickens out into the outside area of their coop and fed them. About half an hour later I found Ozzy in the yard, so I got him out, readjusted the rocks and bricks on the fence, and went out for my run. When I was about 3 miles in I ran past my house and saw he was back in my yard so I had to stop, repeat the whole process again, and then left to do the last two miles of my run.

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Ozzy and Dean watching me take off for the last portion of my run this morning.

Finished my remaining 2 miles, and of course I found Ozzy back in the yard again. And this time he was trying to dig under the coop to get to my chickens! Yeah, obviously I’m not about to let that happen. I’m already kind of irritated that he’s been upsetting them. So went through the whole process of catching him again, put more stuff along the fence in an attempt to keep him out, and then I lined the outside of the chicken coop with rocks and bricks. So if he does get in my yard and tries to dig underneath the coop again it should at least slow him down. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. Haha the chickens did enjoy this though. The rocks and bricks were covered in all sorts of bugs and worms, so they got to have themselves a nice little bug buffet this morning. They seemed to enjoy chasing and chasing bugs to their little hearts’ content. πŸ™‚

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And of course there’s Finn and his long ass tongue on the other side of the coop keeping an eye on them haha. If you look at the top of the photo you can also see Ozzy claw marks on the wood of the coop. He’s scratched up the other side of the coop really bad… 😦

So far he hasn’t gotten back into our yard since I caught him for the third time today, so that’s good. But here in a little bit Luke and I are going to go bury some rocks and bricks along the fence line in hopes that will keep Ozzy out of our yard until they can finish replacing that fence. Hopefully then he wont be able to get into our yard anymore and our chickens will be safe. At least from him haha. Last summer a raccoon took up residence under our shed. I haven’t seen him since last fall though so I’m hoping he’s gone for good. I’m pretty sure all of the feral cats are too afraid of my dogs to even attempt to get into my back yard (raise you’re hand if you know what tends to happen to feral cats on a farm! Yeah, I kinda miss having that option. Feral cats are nothing but a problem…). There are also a couple of foxes that live in my neighborhood. One lives under someone else’s shed a few blocks down, as a matter of fact! There’s not much we can do about them though, except hope that all of the dogs keep them away. And there are a lot of dogs in all of the yards surrounding our house haha.

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But of course my dogs are the best, and I’m definitely not biased at all about that. πŸ˜‰Β 

Well this post ended up being longer than I thought it was gonna be! Haha it happens though. Sometimes I just get going and I can’t stop! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I’ll definitely be posting about what goes down with my 5k on Saturday! Hopefully it doesn’t end up being as bad as I think it might be.

I hope your Tuesday was terrific! (That was super lame, I know.)

~Ashley

Easter Weekend Shenanigans

Woohoo! I’m finally able to really use my right hand again!!! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

I got bit by a dog on Monday while Luke, the dogs, and I were in Illinois visiting our families. Yeah, it was totally my fault and I have hard feelings towards the dog. I shouldn’t have grabbed her when she bolted out the door…

But I’ll get to that story eventually! First let’s talk about all of the fun Luke and I managed to squeeze into our small amount of time in Illinois! πŸ˜‰

So, early last week Luke found out he got Easter Sunday off of work, so on a whim he kinda decided to take a vacation day for the following Monday so we could go visit our families. He had to work on Saturday though, so we’re only going up have a very small amount of time there, but we sure managed to use that time well!

On Saturday I spent the day doing laundry, dishes, bathing the dogs, packing for our trip, and just getting everything ready in general for us to be gone for a few days. I’m pretty sure I went over all of that in this post. πŸ˜‰Β Anyway, Saturday evening when Luke got home from work I was ready to go! He quickly changed, we packed the car, loaded up the dogs and started making our way to Illinois. It takes about 5 hours to get from our house to Luke’s dad’s in Illinois. It’s a boring drive, but it’s a lot better than the 11 hours that it takes to get to my mom and dad’s in Longmont Colorado! πŸ˜‰ Finn sure got comfy on our way there haha.

 

We got to Luke’s dad’s house around 11:30 Saturday night and as per our new tradition that we started on Christmas, Luke, his dad, oldest brother, and myself stayed up until 2:30 am playing Cards Against Humanity haha. Luke’s dad bought an expansion pack so we had all sorts of new cards to play with. It was a lot of fun. What wasn’t fun was sleeping on their pullout couch. It doesn’t feel very sturdy, sinks in, and there’s not a lot of room. Luke and I fit on it fine, but when you have 3 dogs trying to also sleep on it, well, things get kinda crowded. I think I ended up getting like 2 hours of sleep that night. Fun! πŸ˜‰

 

The next morning Luke’s youngest brother woke us up by coming into the living room where we were sleeping, and slowly getting closer and closer the the pullout couch. He’d take a step, stop, look at us for a little bit, then take another step, stop, you get the picture. That freaked Finn out. He forced his way in between Luke and I and was growling at Luke’s brother. After a few minutes of that we had to get up and let all of the dogs outside. Not long after that Luke’s dad and step mom came downstairs and started making breakfast. It seems like they like to do biscuits and gravy for holiday breakfasts but they know I’m not a fan, so they made me a nice sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich instead. πŸ™‚ So we ate, talked, Luke took a shower, his youngest brother explained pokemon to me while Luke’s dad and I were trying to talk about other stuff (haha sorry dude, but I could absolutely school you on pokemon! Next time we go there I’ll have to bring my DS and battle him. πŸ˜‰ ). And all the while Finn stood on a wood pile, looking longingly inside at us hahaha.

 

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This is the correct way to bathroom selfie, right? Haha just messing around after our 5 hour car ride.

The next morning Luke’s youngest brother woke us up by coming into the living room where we were sleeping, and slowly getting closer and closer the the pullout couch. He’d take a step, stop, look at us for a little bit, then take another step, stop, you get the picture. That freaked Finn out. He forced his way in between Luke and I and was growling at Luke’s brother. After a few minutes of that we had to get up and let all of the dogs outside. Not long after that Luke’s dad and step mom came downstairs and started making breakfast. It seems like they like to do biscuits and gravy for holiday breakfasts but they know I’m not a fan, so they made me a nice sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich instead. πŸ™‚ So we ate, talked, Luke took a shower, his youngest brother explained pokemon to me while Luke’s dad and I were trying to talk about other stuff (haha sorry dude, but I could absolutely school you on pokemon! Next time we go there I’ll have to bring my DS and battle him. πŸ˜‰ ). And all the while Finn stood on a wood pile, looking longingly inside at us hahaha.

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After Luke had showered and ate we drove to my old house so we could do some target practice. My mom and dad haven’t sold it yet so we’re still able to go there, although I don’t like going. The farm is sold so all of the land belongs to someone else now. And they’ve changed a lot of things and it just makes me sad. Haha the whole time we were there Luke kept telling me one day we’ll have our own land to do what we want with.

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My hand prints and my brother’s footprints (that you can barely see) in our old driveway. Crazy to think it was 18 years ago when we did that…

Anyway, Luke and I set up our target, technically on the people who bought the farm’s property, but they weren’t there so no big deal haha. πŸ˜‰ And did a little bit of shooting. It was cold and windy so we didn’t stay long, but it’s been a looooong time since I’ve shot a gun. Glad to see I can still hit a target! πŸ™‚

 

After we had our fun we drove to my grandma’s new house. She had a little Easter party so my great Aunt and Uncle (my Auntie and Uncle Pa. πŸ™‚ ), my mom, brother, and Uncle Ken (my mom’s brother) were all there. Luke said hi to everyone but had to leave because he had to go to his Grandma Becky’s Easter lunch. I was right about my grandma and Uncle Ken cooking though! They made an amazing ham, German green beans, cauliflower, potato salad, and my grandma made the BEST desserts; peach cobbler and a cheesecake. It was a fantastic lunch! After we’d all eaten my Aunt Lori showed up (she’s my Auntie and Uncle Pa’s daughter). So we all got to visit for a while. It started sleeting though, so my Auntie, Uncle Pa, and Aunt Lori had to leave before the weather got too bad. After they had gone my Grandma, Uncle, and I watched the Jesus Christ Super Star thing that was on TV. I’ve never actually seen Jesus Christ Super Star before, but I really enjoyed it! And Alice Cooper being in it was pretty spiffy too! And after that we were all pretty tired so we all went to bed.

So I spent my Easter shooting, eating, and hanging out with family. It was nice. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Monday morning Luke was up bright and early! Half an hour earlier than me, which doesn’t often happen haha. But we had things we wanted to do and we had to leave later that day, so getting up early made sense. πŸ™‚

First Luke and his brother came and picked up me and my brother and we drove back to the old house so our brothers could do a little bit of shooting. Again we didn’t spend a lot of time there. It was even colder and now it was wet and icy from the sleet the night before. We all had fun though. Luke’s brother doesn’t exactly get to shoot a lot so he was happy to get to, even though I kept having to remind him of gun safety. πŸ˜‰ And my brother got to show off a little bit and I never had to yell at him haha. But remember that both of us have been shooting basically since we could walk. πŸ˜‰

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This photo is actually from Sunday, but whatever. πŸ˜‰

After our second round of target practice, we drove back to Luke’s dad’s, picked up his youngest brother and went to the St. Louis City Museum. I haven’t been there since Iw as in like, second grade, and everyone else had never been, so we figured it would be fun to do something different. If you’ve never been to the City Museum, it’s basically a art exhibit/giant playground. With just a tiny bit of actual museum stuff thrown into the mix. The outdoor stuff was still all closed because it’s still too cold out, but there was still plenty to do inside! We played on skate ramps, climbed a crazy amount of stairs, went down a 10 story slide, climbed on stuff, explored an indoor cave, and ate overpriced pizza. It was a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

 

After the City museum we dropped my brother off at my grandma’s, dropped Luke’s younger brother off at his house, then Luke, his other brother, and I went to Barns and Noble, and then to Luke’s Grandma Wilma’s house. That’s when I got bit by the dog. When we got there her dogs bolted out the door, she said they’d run away, so I grabbed one of them, and she got scared, and bit my right hand a couple of times. Totally my fault. I shouldn’t of grabbed her like that. But she left one pretty decent puncture in my wrist, a few scratches, and my whole hand was swollen. Luke’s grandma cleaned up the wound, and put some antibacterial stuff on it along with a band aid. It hurt like hell but we figured it didn’t require a hospital visit. But anyway, we hung out with her for a while, but it was getting to be around 3:30 pm and Luke and I still needed to drive home. So we left her house, went to Luke’s dad’s said goodbye to everyone there, got Lily and Luke’s stuff. Drove to my Grandma’s, got Finn and Dean, and my stuff, said by to everyone there, got into the car, and began our journey home.

The drive home was slightly more miserable than the drive there. Our car doesn’t have any heat and it was cold and rainy out, so we got to spend 5 hours shivering. It definitely wasn’t as bad as our drive to Colorado over Thanksgiving though! The temperatures were in the negatives for a lot of that drive! This time it was above freezing at least. And we made it home around 9:15 pm without any real issues, so that was good. πŸ™‚

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Haha so yeah, like I said, we squeezed in quite a lot in the short amount of time we had there! Of course I ended up getting hurt, but at least it was during our last few hours there haha. And my hand is healing up quite nicely at this point! It’s still kinda sore and a little bit swollen, but I can actually use it again which is nice! Although after typing all of this it’s kinda hurting again. πŸ˜‰ And I’ve been able to keep the wound clean and it seems to be healing very well, so I’ll gladly take it! Cat bites tend to get infected more than dogs bites do, but still, you can never be too careful about that kind of thing. And I only missed out on a few days of running, and that was mostly just because we were traveling. But I’ll talk about that in my weekly recap on Sunday.

Whew! Alrighty then! I didn’t think this post was going to be so long haha. But I guess I should have seen that coming. We did do a lot of stuff. But, that is all for now!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday!!

You’re very injury prone friend,

~Ashley

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Easter Weekend

Happy Saturday, friends!!

(Just warning you that there is a picture of a bloody dog paw in this post. If you don’t want to see that don’t scroll down)

Yesterday Luke and I were quite busy, running around all over the place and trying to get some stuff done. Luke had to work today but was off yesterday and is off on Easter Sunday so we decided that today after he got off of work that we were going to drive to Illinois so we could hang out with some of our family over the holiday.

So, like I said, we spent a lot of time trying to do stuff yesterday. He cleaned out his car, I cleaned the chicken brooder and rabbit cages, then we went to several stores to get stuff we needed, and just did a bunch of boring adult stuff haha. Once we got all of that taken care of we were going to bring the dogs to the dog park so they could run around and burn off some energy since the car ride to Illinois is about 5 hours long. So we packed up the dogs, drove 40 minutes to the bigger park that we go to, started unloading them from the car, and noticed that the backseat was covered in blood… Somehow in the 40 minutes it took us to get to the park, Lily had ripped out one of her dew claws. We seriously have no idea how the heck she managed to do that! Her dew claws aren’t even that big. But I suppose that’s just proof that it’s not a bad idea to have them removed when they’re puppies. Finn’s breeder had his removed, and before I didn’t really think much of it but after yesterday’s indecent I’m very glad we wont have to worry about anything like that happening to him. But obviously Lily still has most of hers, and so does Dean.

Anyway, so we couldn’t go to the park with Lily hurt and bleeding all over the place so we had to drive to a nearby Walgreen’s instead and did some first aid in the parking lot. Luckily I’m pretty well versed in first aid. I’m a hug klutz and am constantly having to fix myself. Plus it doesn’t really seem to be bothering Lily. She still wanted to go to the park and once we finally got home we put the chickens outside in their coop and she spent a lot of time running around the yard and keeping an eye on them. So at least she’s not too hurt. But Lily is a tough farm dog. A little foot injury like that isn’t going to slow her down!

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So today was also just a lot of me getting things ready for us to be gone for a few days as well. I made sure the cats, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens had enough food and water. Since we’re only going to be gone for like, 2 ish days we really don’t need anyone to check on them. I did some cleaning around the house. It was basically a disaster though and there was no way I was going to have time to clean it very well before we left, which sucks. It’s always nice coming back to a clean house… But I did do a piss ton of laundry. A lot of that actually consisted of stuff I needed to pack, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ And cleaned all of our dirty dishes, so at the very least we’ll have clean clothes/dishes to come home to. I did try to minimize the disaster area though and picked up, wiped down counters and tables, and did little stuff like that.

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They like to perch on the sides of the brooder. Luckily they haven’t taken to escaping and wandering around the room they’re in. Yet…

I also had to bathe Dean and Finn. They were both terrible messes since it’s been really wet and muddy here in Kansas. Luckily they don’t put up much of a fight when it comes to getting bathed, but they definitely don’t like it and they don’t exactly make it easy. I got it done though and they’re both pretty darn clean! For now.

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The two troublemakers; Finn and Dean.Β 

Anyway, so by the time Luke got home from work, around 6:30 pm I had everything ready to go! He had picked up dinner on his way home from work, so we ate, packed up the car, made the dogs go pee, loaded them into the car, and then hit the road! Which is where we’ve been for about an hour now. Fun times! πŸ˜‰ But the drive to Illinois is a lot more more pleasant than the drive to Colorado where my parent’s and siblings live. That takes about 11 hours and is sooooo boring. At least driving to Illinois only takes about 5 hours. So we should be getting there around 1 am. That’s not too bad.

Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

~Ashley

Finn’s Pedigree

Finn’s ABCA certificate of registration came in the mail yesterday! I am so absolutely beyond excited about that!! He’s the first dog that’s belonged to me that’s been registered to a breed registry and therefore the first dog that I can look back at his family history and actuallyΒ see what the dogs look like, know how good they were at herding/working, and maybe even find out about any medical issues his relatives have had. That’s some pretty exciting and super useful stuff if you ask me!!

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Finn ABC 445445

On his certificate the ABCA includes 5 generations (including Finn) of dogs, their registry numbers, and their owners and breeders, and where they are from. That’s cool and all, but that’s not exactly much information. I mean, I want to know as much about these dogs as I can! So I’ve taken it upon myself to find out what I can about Finn’s lineage. And I’ve already found some pretty interesting stuff already and I wanted to share it here with you guys, even though this is more of a running blog haha. I just think this kinda stuff is so super neat!

I’ve met his parent’s in person (Shome and Ria Show Me Mo. Both of their names kinda reference the show me state, which is Missouri’s unofficial nickname and that’s where their owner is from. I think that’s pretty neat. πŸ™‚ ), and can ask their owner anything I want to know about them. Apparently he likes to stay in contact with the people who buys his puppies so I’m not to worried about them as I’m sure Luke and I will spend plenty of time talking to him as Finn gets older.

But anyway, so far I’ve been able to find some information about two of his great great grandfathers and it’s some really impressive stuff!

First I found out a little bit about Dog ABCΒ 293065. Haha after a bit of digging around in the interwebs, I actually found his current owner’s Facebook page! According to him, Dog is a fantastic working cattle dog and has had a long career as an outstanding stud dog. Plus I mean, look at him! He’s a super handsome boy. πŸ™‚ Oh and it looks like he’s still alive! His owner’s Facebook page has a few photos of him from last year so that’s pretty neat.

I also found Rocking G’s Spurs ABC 35996! He’s actually the dog Finn’s breeder told Luke and I about! He has an absolutely amazing career as a cattle dog which included many many different trial wins;

  • Gulf Coast Cowdog Association Open Dog of the year 1996, 1997,Β 2000, 2001
  • Gulf CoastΒ Cowdog Association Reserve Champion Dog of the year 1998, 1999
  • Winner of the 2000Β World Champion Cowdog Challenge in Reno, Nevada against 60 dogs

And there is a some more information about him and the other dogs from Rocking G Kennels on their website. They’ve got some pretty impressive border collies.

So far those two are the only dogs I’ve really been able to find much information about, but I’m sure if I keep digging I’ll be able to find a few more. And plus I know where to find Spurs’ pedigree, so if I really want to, I can look up the dogs on that and probably find out more about Finn’s great great great, great great great great, and great great great great great grandparents if I really wanted to go that far back haha. But for now I’m probably going to stick to the dogs on Finn’s certificate. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, seeing that Finn comes from a long line of several different amazing cattle dogs, explains why his herding instincts are so good! Hopefully once he’s around a year old Luke and I are going to take him to someone who trains border collies (so far we’ve only been able to find people in Texas, Oklahoma, Southern Missouri, and Illinois, so we’re going to have to drive pretty far to do it) and we’re going to see if we can’t teach him how to herd some cows! And maybe he’s inherited some of his great great grandparents’ talents. That would be pretty sweet!

But yeah, I’m doing talking about dogs (for now).

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From left to right: Lily, Finn, and Dean.

Happy Saturday!

~Ashley

A Day In The Life Of Lily and Dean

5:45 am: 

Lily and Dean

Luke wakes up to get ready for work! That means we both get to be in bed and look out the window!!

6:45 am:

Lily and Dean 

Wake up Ashley by barking at the school bus that goes by our house every morning. Stay in bed until 7 am because Ashley doesn’t like getting up before then.

7 am:

Lily and Dean

Yay! Ashley finally got up and let us outside!! Gotta take care of our morning routine by peeing everywhere in the backyard, barking at squirrels, and saying hi to Zaide, the Beagle who lives next door.

7:05 am:

Lily

Bark/scratch obnoxiously at the door because I’M THIRSTY AND I WANT TO BE INSIDE AND BE WITH YOU!!!

Dean

I guess I want to be inside too! Just kidding, now that I’ve gotten a drink I need to go back outside and bark at Cujo, the German Shepherd that lives in the yard behind ours.

7:30 am:

Lily

Keep bringing Ashley the ball to throw, because her breakfast is no fun unless we’re playing fetch. Also stare longingly at her plate while she eats, just so she knows that sharing is caring, and that I definitely need a piece of her toast. After I get my fair share of her breakfast I need to stare out the window and make sure nothing shady goes on in the front yard while Ashley goes about her morning chores.

Dean:

Sit in the middle of the yard. Make sure the evil squirrel don’t attack and that the menacing rabbits don’t sneak into the yard. ALSO THAT CAT I DON’T KNOW IS BACK IN THE EASEMENT! FUCK YOU, CAT!!!

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9 am:

Lily

Bark at the evil mail lady from the window. Ha! That’ll teach her to keep getting into our mailbox!

Dean

Bark at the mail lady from the backyard. I don’t know why we’re barking at her, but Lily is doing it so I probably should too.

9:30 am:

Lily and Dean

Playtime with Ashley in the backyard!

9:45 am:

Lily 

Pout on the couch because I want to go for a walk, but Ashley refuses to take me. Something about being busy, but I don’t know what could possibly be more important than me…Oh, now we’re bringing the bunnies outside and there’s no way she could possibly do that without me!

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No small critters are getting into this yard on my watch!! Except for our bunnies that Ashley just brought outside. IT’S MY JOB TO MAKE SURE NOTHING BAD HAPPENS TO THEM!!

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10 am: 

Lily 

Finally got to go for a walk! Stalked some squirrels (Ashley says that the border collie stare isn’t going to work on the neighborhood squirrels, but I figure I’d better try, just to be safe), barked at the evil mail lady again, and sniffed around two parks. Once we got back home I resumed my post at the window. Nothing is getting in the front yard or into the house without me knowing about it!

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12 pm:

Lily 

Napped on the couch while Ashley ate lunch (I got to lick the bowl!!), watched the movie that Luke surprised her with the other day, and typed away on her laptop. I guess she was working on the whole “blog” thing. Whatever, I’m just happy I got to lick her bowl and spend time with her. πŸ™‚

Dean

Napped outside because why be inside when you can be outside?!

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1:30 pm:

Dean

Ashley just came outside with my leash! THAT MEANS WE’RE GOING ON A WALK! We walked down to the park, but when we got there we saw a bunch of loud cars with flashing lights (police cars, fire trucks, and animal control), and a bunch of people standing around talking in front of a house near the park. All of the excitement was making me really nervous so we turned down a different street and then walked back home.

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3  pm:

Lily and Dean

Waiting “patiently” for Luke to get home, even though we both know that he wont be home for another two hours. Also barking at every single dog that walks past, just so they know we’re here, and the school bus that goes by again at 3:40.

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5 pm:

Lily and Dean

Luke’s home!! Quick, we must greet him at the door and smother him with love!!

6 pm:

Lily and Dean

Relaxed on the couch with our favorite humans, and got fed pasta off a fork.


9 pm:

Lily and Dean

LISTEN UP EVERYBODY, THIS IS NOT A DRILL! IT’S FOOD TIME! EVERYONE SCATTER!! The cats are running everywhere, and we may or may not be getting under Luke and Ashley’s feet as they try to fill up our food bowls, but we can’t help it! Food time is an exciting time!!

After we eat we get to have our pre-bedtime nap while Luke and Ashley watch TV. Then, at promptly 10:00 pm, without being asked, we go to our designated sleeping areas on the floor in the bedroom, even though we all know Dean will end up in the bed between the humans at some point because they’re both huge pushovers when it comes to the two of us. πŸ™‚

We hope you enjoyed reading about our day! Maybe we’ll take over Ashley’s blog again sometime. πŸ˜‰

Goodnight everyone!

~Lily and Dean

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The Stories Of How We Ended Up With Lily and Dean

Holy cow, I just realized Dean’s birthday was on Tuesday! He’s officially a whole 2 years old. Lily’s birthday is coming up pretty soon too! Luke and I aren’t sure if the exact date, but we do know she was born in February. So she’ll be 7 years old next month. That just seems crazy! I remember the day we got her…oh boy,that’s an  interesting story!

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We legit threw a party for them last year! πŸ™‚

Before I get to that whole escapade and the less eventful but still adorable story of how we got Dean, I need to go back a even farther to when I was about 11 or 12 and became absolutely obsessed with border collies.

I’m not exactly sure how the obsession started, I probably saw some program on Animal Planet about them (I used to watch Animal Planet all the time haha). Once it started though, I got my hands on as much info about the breed that I could. I would scour the internet for hours, beg my mom to buy me books (I have quite the little library going on, and I have a pretty respectable amount of border collie/dog related books), and of course I would check Animal Plant’s show line up everyday, because they had a few programs about different dog breeds, and would show agility trials and what not every once in a while. πŸ˜‰


As I got older I picked up a few more obsessions; PokΓ©mon, Stephen King, Green Day, stuff like that. But even with my new interests, my love for border collies never faded. By the time I got to high school I was dead set on getting one and I actually ended up becoming really good friends with a girl who’s dad bred working border collies. And these weren’t just any kind of borde Collies, these were cattle dogs (as opposed to sheep dogs, show dogs, etc.) which was exactly what I wanted! I suppose that’s basically where Lily’s story starts.

Yet again, I don’t remember exactly how we got on the topic, but one day at school we were talking about dogs and how border collies are my favorite, and my friend mentioned that her dad bred working dogs, but he would give me one for free since I was her friend. Cue months and months of me begging my parents to let me get one.

My begging and pleading never swayed them though. The answer I got was always “no”. Until they let my younger sister get a dog, that is. They let her go to the shelter and pick out any dog she wanted, and that’s how she ended up with Ace (I’ve probably posted other photos of him before).

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Of course my whiny teenage self thought that was totally unfair, so I argued my case once again and this time I finally got the answer I wanted! So I talked to my friend and she told me her dad’s youngest bitch just had her first litter of pups and that I was more than welcome to one! Hell yes!!

That didn’t end up happening though.  Unfortunately this bitch wasn’t a good mother. She wouldn’t nurse the pups and it eventually got to the point where she had to be tied up in the barn with her litter so that they could eat. All but one of the puppies ended up dying. But the one who lived was a tough little thing and he was mine if I still wanted him and of course I did! A few weeks later, at my friend’s graduation party I asked her about my puppy. By then he would have been around 4-5 weeks old, which is still too early to take a pup from his mom, but since it was officially summer and we were out of school I would have been able to bottle feed him since his mom didn’t want to nurse him anyway. That’s when she told me an owl had gotten into the barn and attacked him a few days earlier and he ended up dying. That’s right, a fucking owl killed my puppy. I cannot even begin to describe to you how pissed I was.

Now as it just so happened, a few months before had, this friend’s dad had had another little of puppies that did live (they had a mother who actually took care of them) and her dad had given one to her boyfriend at the time. Now this guy was a good friend of mine too (we actually still talk on Facebook every once in a while), he lived a few minutes from my house and we carpooled to school for a while. He’s a good guy, but he had no business owning a border collie. I saw this puppy every morning when I would pick him up for school and she was the prettiest little thing you’ve ever seen. But she was so so so so so ill behaved. She wasn’t allowed in the house, so she just ran around the property with this guy’s other dog. She had no training and was bored out of her mind. She constantly chased this guy’s dad’s pony and two sheep out of their fence, she dug holes, barked, and the biggest problem of all; she chased cars. This was a huge problem, because they lived (actually, they still live) really close to the highway.

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I wish I could of had Lily as a little baby. Look at those ears!!!!

I guess it all became too much for them to handle and they obviously didn’t want her to get hit by a car, so my friend posted on Facebook that he had to give her away and whoever wanted her could come and get her. Luckily I saw the post a few minutes after he had posted it. Not so luckily that was the night that my grandpa Jim was in one hospital and had to be transported to another, and a whole bunch of stuff was going down with him. I don’t remember if that was the night he died or if it was a few day’s later, but obviously with all that going on I couldn’t leave to go get her, even if she was only a few minutes away. So eventually I convinced the guy to bring her to me, and that was the day I got my first border collie.

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This photo was taken an few days after I got her, I think.

I’m not exactly fond of the name Lily, but she came to me named and had so many other issues that I didn’t feel like adding a new name to the list of things I needed to teach her. I’m not even going to go into all of the issues she had or how long it took me (and Luke a little bit) to fix them, but eventually I did. Luke, Lily, and I have been a team and basically inseparable (mostly because Lily still has separation anxiety, that was one thing I couldn’t fix) since we got her. She was even the “ring bearer” in our wedding. Yup we’re “those people” and proud of it!

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Dean’s story is a little less exciting. Definitely less eventful then how we ended up with Lily, but it is a cute little story. πŸ™‚

We need a little more background for this story as well; It was a few years after Luke and I got married and moved to Kansas (so around 2014-15). We had been living in a one bedroom apartment for almost 3 years and were waaaay over our two pet limit. We had Lily and Bubbles (our white cat). Those were the two the apartment complex people knew about and had on record. We also had a tank full of fish, which was a direct violation to one of the rules of our lease, but the maintenance people probably knew about it and never said anything about it. We also had Bruce the ferret, Link the hamster (who sadly died not long after we moved into our house), and our leopard gecko who doesn’t really have a name haha. At that point we were looking for a house though. Mainly because my brother in law was about to move out of his dad’s house and in with us, and also because Luke and I were tired of apartment life and were tired of the stress of harboring so many animals.

That was about the time my brother in law ended up with Odin. That’s a whole other story that I’m not about to get into right now. But that dog caused a lot of fighting between my brother in law, his dad and step mom, and Luke and I eventually got involved and ended up taking Odin to our all ready too full apartment, so that my brother in law could have him when he eventually moved in with us. That’s kinda the beginning of Dean’s story really.

So, I’ve literally never said this about a dog before, but I absolutely hate Odin. I’ve encountered just about every kind of dog that you can in the 20 years that I spent helping/working in my mom/grandma’s dog boarding kennel. In those 20 years (granted I was a baby a few of those years πŸ˜‰ ) I never met a dog that didn’t like me and that I couldn’t get along with. Until Odin came along. He is literally has the worst traits from the mix of breeds that he is. We know for sure he’s part Australian shepherd, that’s what his mom is. Then my best guess is there is some lab and husky mixed in there. Everyone thinks he’s a pretty dog, I don’t but it’s probably because I don’t like him.

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Don’t even for a second think I didn’t take care of this dog though. Because I totally did and still do even though I shouldn’t have to.

Anyway, Odin is high energy like an Australian shepherd, he’s stubborn as hell like a husky, and he’s a big doofus like a lab, and our personalities don’t mesh at all. I’m used to dealing with hunting dog, working dogs, dogs that our eager to please and actually want to learn! Odin was (and still isn’t) any of those things and I was absolutely miserable trying to deal with and train him. And that’s kind of saying something, because I’ve never had an issue training a dog before.

I guess Luke felt really bad for me because I felt like a failure at the one thing I had always felt like I was good at, so he’d been looking for border collie puppies for a while. Now, that was no easy feat, considering I’m picky about choosing where a dog comes from and he knows it. I want a dog that comes from a working line and is in no way shape or form linked to the AKC. I don’t want a show dog that looks pretty but has had all of it’s herding/working instincts bred out of it. Now, for most breeds it’s kinda hard to find a non AKC breeder, luckily as far as border collies go, you can still find true working lines that don’t involve the AKC at all. The problem is, those working lines can still be just as expensive as an AKC bred dog. Eventually though, Luke found a lady on craigslist that was selling her pups for $50, which is absolutely insane! We were expecting to pay around $100-150.

So of course Luke called her and told her we wanted on. She seemed apprehensive at first, telling him that border collies have a lot of energy, but she seemed a little more at ease when he told her we already had one. So she said she still had one male available and we could pick out whatever one we wanted if we could get there before anyone else, so that’s exactly what we did.

We hopped into the car with Lily and drove about an hour and a half to this lady’s farm. When we got there, there were dogs (and not all border collies) and kids running around all over the place. We talked to the lady a little bit and showed off Lily to her. I think that definitely made her feel better at selling a puppy to us, since Lily is so well behaved and obviously taken care of. Honestly though, the fact that she was so worried about where her dogs ended up made me feel a lot better about the whole situation. That’s usually a sign of a good breeder.

Anyway, eventually her kids found all the pups and showed them to us. One of the males was a little trouble maker and kept trying to get under an air conditioner and nipping at the little kids. We talked about them and their parents (who we also saw) for a while. We were the first people to get there so we got to pick whatever male we wanted! Freaking sweet! Although, if we were looking for a female, I would have picked the feisty little girl who was half black and white and half blue merle. I’ve never seen a dog like that before and she was absolutely gorgeous. But we weren’t in the market for a feisty dog or a female. I guess that little girl got her feisty-ness from her dad who was guarding his pigs and wouldn’t come up from the pen. Apparently that’s what he did all day everyday. He had also used to herd sheep and cattle, but the lady didn’t have those anymore. Good. I wanted a dog with a working bloodline and these pups had that.

The dad was kinda big as far as border collies go, red in color, and not fond of strangers. But that’s typical as far as border collies go. The mother was a rescue. Apparently she was in an abusuive situation before this lady got her. She was shy but super sweet. Pretty small, blue merle, and very shaggy. She absolutely loved Luke, which was apparently strange, as she usually didn’t like men.

Eventually one of the kids handed me a puppy who promptly fell asleep in my arms. I looked at Luke and told him that this was the dog we needed, and that’s how we ended up with Dean. Luke gave the lady her $50 and told her she was selling this dogs at way to low of a price. She laughed and said everyone told her that. She even had someone driving up form Oklahoma for one of the females. Then she told us she was going to sell her next litter for more and we told her that was probably a good idea haha. Then we said our goodbyes, got our two dogs into the car, and then tried to drive away. I say try, because Dean’s mother ran in front of the car and was using her border collie stare to prevent us from leaving. Poor mamma. This was her first litter of puppies and Dean was the first to go, so I’m sure that was hard for her. Finally one of the kids got her out of the way and we were able to leave. Dean slept the whole hour and a half drive back to our apartment and that’s when I knew he was going to end up being a super laid back dog, and a perfect addition to our little pack of dogs.

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He was such a fluffy little guy! I kinda wish he’s ears would have stayed up, but they didn’t..